>the discovery of the fact that the IO could be hacked by Ken
No, no, that wasn't hacking--he just tinkered up a twisted IDE cable! I guess that's where the recent burr in my a$$ came from--the implication in this whole affir that code is some sacred cow, and hardware is just something you put the code into...
To my mind, the whole i-o thing is *about* hardware. All the instruments I work with (and help design) in my day-job are microprocessor controlled. I work with firmware guys every day. To me, what they do isn't qualitatively any different than what I do. That's how I see BIOS.
I do my brain and detective and creative work, and the result is a design--my role is complete when I give someone the file containing the solid model or Autocad drawing or scan of a napkin sketch. The data is the design, and contains the result of my experience and effort. But, whoever I give the data to still needs to build one for himself.
When Wild_Pencil or Programmer or you do your brain and detective and creative work, the result is code (say, BIOS), but the data is still the design. You can give someone a file containing the code, but they still need to put it in a chip to use it.
>The term hacking has its roots of software guys who hack, or break into, computer systems.
Yes, I did see "War Games" And am aware of the roots. But to me (and this is just my view,) hacking is understanding the principles of how and why something works, and using that knowledge (and knowledge of how and why other somethings work) to exploit unexpected or unintended capabilities in the thing. The guy who stuffs an aluminum Buick V-6 in his VW bus is a hacker. George Washington Carver was a hacker--read up sometime about the uses he found for peanuts. "MacGuyver" was a total hacker character. And I'll politely disagree with you about my hacker status (oh, all right, the heatsink was a tinker, I'll admit that, but I'm not budging on the gameport...)
If it seems like I've flamed you or Wild_Pencil, please accept my apology (you too, W_P.) That has never been my intention. (Geez, you're doing something I haven't worked up the cojones for--you're in business for yourself and I'm a brain-whore who collects a paycheck for my work.) Thanks for your very generous offer, but it's never been about money--just what seems proper to me...